Trumped-Up Primary Isn’t Worth the Hype

Less than three months after announcing his candidacy, Donald Trump has risen to the top of the 2012 Republican primary horserace, tying with former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee for top honors, according to a recent CNN poll. Trump, who has zero political experience, appears to have followed the proven Palin method of domination: saying stupid shit to grab headlines, and instead of concrete goals for reform, his platform seems to consist of taking the oil from Libya and repeating that President Obama wasn’t born in the U.S.

That tired conspiracy theory has somehow still not been put to rest, despite conclusive evidence to the contrary from Hawaii, Obama’s birthplace. According to a February Public Policy poll, a staggering 51 percent of GOP primary voters believe the President wasn’t born in the U.S, and it seems the surest road to the GOP nomination is just to perpetuate those claims.

Even if Trump doesn’t win the nomination, he will have successfully convinced some Americans that a vote for Obama is essentially a vote for a Kenyan-born secret Muslim. (He’ll also have done something that many consider impossible: Make Newt Gingrich look sane.)

Trump’s success isn’t all due to his outrageous claims. Maybe part of the reason Trump is doing so well in the polls is because of his perceived success in business, can be seen as an asset in ensuring the economy rebounds. But while Trump has made millions he’s also filed bankruptcy through Trump Enterprises three times. Most recently, in 2009, Trump filed for Chapter 11 with $50 million in assets to his $500 million in debt.

And have I mentioned that his resort and casino business — you know, a place where visitors regularly pay to lose money — also went bankrupt? How’s that for business savvy?

Despite all of this, some are still delusional enough to believe that Trump could steer the economy in the right direction.

Just three years after Republicans stressed Obama’s lack of experience in the 2008 election, many are backing Trump, today best-known for his NBC reality TV show. This is a man with no history of political experience, save lobbying, and who last year suggested Al Gore be stripped of his Nobel Peace Prize for his work on climate change, considering that a snowstorm had recently hit New York City.

Admittedly, the only reasons Huckabee and Trump are at the top could be that they both have their own bully pulpits. Palin and Gingrich, also close in the polls, are regular commentators on Fox News. Without airing any commercial, these politicians have soared to fame.

It is uncertain whether Trump’s outlandish claims about Obama’s birth by Trump will not hold any sway in the general election. The president is a man with a silver tongue and can best the boorish Trump in any debate. Lies can generate some initial popularity, but the issues are the tried-and-true method of affecting American voters.

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